Is your home feeling small and cluttered? No room for a guest bedroom, playroom, or room for everyone to go to their own room? If you have already made the best use of what you already have, it may be time to build out, up, or dig down. If an addition is possible with our home’s structure and site, building out, rather than up or down, can be the most affordable option. But you still have plenty to think about before taking action.
Some Questions to Consider
Will the addition complete your home? Contemplate whether the floor plan you are considering will really fix the problem you are trying to solve. If you do not have enough space at the main level to solve the design problem, you may want to look into other options such as your basement or a second-story addition. Also, a main floor-addition that includes a basement or second-story space is even possible.
Do you have room? Building out may not be the best option for you if you do not want to give up backyard space or you’re stuck in place by land-use codes. But if you have room to spare and the addition can be designed around an outdoor gathering space, your addition can capitalize on a smaller yard.
Key Points to Reflect On
Cost and Feasibility. A main level addition on a flat property can be the least expensive square footage to add onto your home. But, if you throw in difficult access to the construction area, an addition below grade, a steep lope, or complicated tie-ins to the existing house, the costs can easily rival or be higher than the cost of a second-story addition. Talk with your architect and contractor about which parts of your plan are cost drivers, and make decisions that will limit their impact.
Choosing the Least Problematic Option
Main level additions can be built to code, without having to retrofit much of the existing home or its foundation. This can help this option cost a lot less than second-story additions, which often require structural retrofitting down to the foundation, removing siding and disturbing interior walls.
Anytime you add onto the exterior of your home, you must carefully consider how the addition will match the rest of your home or purposefully not match it at all. If your home is constructed of unique materials that cannot be matched, you will have to consider whether to replace the materials or not watch the home at all.
Thinking SmallSometimes a small addition can bring great results, particularly in kitchens. Adding just 3 to 4 feet to a cramped kitchen can open up lots of possibilities for appliances and additional cabinetry. If cantilevering the addition can do this and if the addition can be tucked under existing overhangs, the need to frame a new roof is eliminated as well.